‘The World Dialogue’ presented to the General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, with a message destined to this organization on 7th of March 2002

Mr. General Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Considering Art as an important cultural medium, and an international human language and not as a commercial object, this presentation brings me an immense satisfaction because it is happening in the most respected political institution in the world because it is the most representative.

There is no artist in this small planet that comes from another world. We are all the product of our own experiences. More than twenty years of traveling in more than twenty countries, have convinced me of the profound resemblance of all human beings in spite of their different appearance and their different ways of life, influenced by the geographical conditions and often, non-adaptable or imposed changes.

The strength and the richness of human beings lie in their wisdom. Sensing the lack of an acceptable goal for existence they give more value to each passing moment. Alas, no philosophical, religious or political idea can offer permanent satisfaction to each new generation of human kind. Happiness is usually projected towards the future but the future is simply a repetition of the present. Some thousands years of History show us that we are still driven by the quest of power, love, hate, lie, honesty… Let us be realistic, perfection is not human. But establishment or improvement of human conditions, without imposing the vision of progress of a particular society are always possible. The wisdom of human beings can only be achieved in calm, a calm which is neither suffocation nor silence.

While I thank Mr. Khatami, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran for his initiative of the International Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, I wonder to whom I would like to dedicate this sculpture:

To homosexuals who suffer tremendous oppression in the societies who have not yet understood that these people do not chose to become but find themselves homosexual and this in no way diminishes their potential value as a woman or a man;

To those condemned to death by a so-called “justice”, who are themselves a proof of a government’s failure to exercise its responsibilities;

To maltreated children and women whose physical weakness is used as an instrument of power by those who practice the violence;

Or to a people ; the people of Sierra Leone or Afghans or the Palestinians who for 53 years now have suffered from injustice of all kinds. A country that abuses other countries by trickery or by force does not deserve to be called democratic or civilized.

If the decisions taken in a representative international institution are the fruits of international wisdom, what is the legitimacy of Right of Veto by a minority backed by their military strength? These same countries are at the top of the list of those selling the arms which are nourishing the conflicts in our small planet. It is urgent that immediate particular interests give way to the long term and collective interests on which life of all of us depend. And to reach this goal we need a more efficient Organization of the United Nations.

Shirine Afrouz

‘The World Dialogue’

In this sculpture, five profiles, arranged in a circle, represent the five continents; in the middle is a map of the world. These faces contemplating the planet bear witness to the interest in other people shown by all of us; they are presented as identical in order to underline the equality of all mankind. The way in which they are placed, surrounding the planet earth, expresses the will to protect the planet which is the responsibility of everyone. The sculpture asserts that dialogue is an efficient medium and a peaceful instrument for the resolution of problems between peoples while respecting the right to be different.

  • The material: Bronze
  • Patina: Persian Blue
  • Dimensions:
  • 51cm Height
  • The circle 49cm X 3cm
  • The pedestal 47cm X 16cm X 2cm